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Orthopedics supplier sees 100 jobs

New hires, plant upgrades slated at Haven in Ossian

A Wells County orthopedics industry supplier expects to create up to 100 jobs in the next three years in response to increased demand from new and existing customers.

Haven Manufacturing plans to invest more than $2.7 million in new equipment in phases by 2017 for its Ossian factory, officials announced Thursday. The first phase will be $580,000 for three CNC – or computer numerical controlled – machines.

The company, which employs 50 in Ossian, primarily makes medical instruments used during hip- and knee-replacement surgeries, President Len Feddema said.

He likes the factory’s location at 6935 Indiana 1 – even though it’s not inside the Kosciusko County-Whitley County orthopedic cluster’s borders.

“We don’t draw from the same labor pool they do, which is an advantage for us,” he said.

Haven, a precision manufacturer, also supplies the aerospace and defense industries. The company’s specialty is small orders made to customer specifications.

A small portion of its product line is shock absorbers used in NASCAR racing.

Haven also has operations in Angola and Grand Haven, Michigan.

The Wells County Council approved a $19,700, 10-year tax abatement on the first phase of new equipment.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered the company up to $700,000 in conditional tax credits, based on whether it fulfills its hiring plans.

Feddema said the 100-job estimate is possible if everything goes well. But he’d prefer to downplay potential job creation rather than risk disappointing anyone.

But, he added, “We’re hiring people all the time.”

Because Haven has had difficulty finding trained CNC operators, the company has established an in-house training program.

Wages for the production jobs will average $17 an hour.

Anyone interested in applying for a position may fill out an application available at the factory’s human resources office.